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A bowl of Japanese chestnut rice.

Japanese Chestnut Rice (Kuri Gohan)

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 4.8 from 20 reviews
  • Author: Asha
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Rice
  • Cuisine: Japanese


Japanese chestnut rice (kuri gohan 栗ご飯) is seasoned to perfection and cooked with fresh chestnuts nestled into the tender grains. The flavour is rich and nutty. This very tasty and unique winter side dish is the perfect way to enjoy these seasonal nuts.



15 chestnuts

2 cups Japanese short-grain rice (180ml standard rice cooker cups)


2 tablespoons mirin

2 tablespoons sake *

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon hondashi **

toasted black sesame seeds, to taste


Bring water to a boil over medium heat in a large saucepan. Add chestnuts and boil for 3 minutes. This is to soften the peel and skin, making them easier to clean.

Meanwhile, add rice into rice cooker bowl. With the bowl in your sink, add cold water and gently rub the rice grains together to wash them. The water will become a milky white. Pour the cloudy water down the drain and repeat this washing process 4-5 times until the water becomes almost completely transparent.

Fill the rice cooker bowl with the normal amount of water recommended for cooking, dry off the outside of the bowl, and place it back into the rice cooker. 

Strain the chestnuts once they have finished boiling. You have to completely remove the peel and inner skin. It will be easier to do this while they are still warm. Cut around the edge of the nut's base and peel outwards.

Use a knife to clean out anything stuck in the crevices. This takes a bit of effort, but the delicious rice will be worth it.

Lightly rinse and strain the completely cleaned nuts and set them aside.

Stir mirin, sake, and salt into the rice cooker with the rice. Place the chestnuts on top of the rice. It's ok if they are poking out of the water. Sprinkle the hondashi on top, close the lid and let sit for 30 minutes.

Start the rice cooker and cook on the normal white rice mode.

Once it is finished, gently stir the rice. Serve in individual serving bowls topped with toasted black sesame seeds.


  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 230
  • Sugar: 3.3 g
  • Sodium: 627.7 mg
  • Fat: 1.3 g
  • Carbohydrates: 45.5 g
  • Protein: 3.2 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
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